Answers to your most popular questions
Buying property in Greece
Do I need assistance from any local professionals?
Yes, it is necessary to hire the services of a lawyer and a notary public. Usually, buyers also hire a real estate agent and an engineer. The real estate agent will help with locating a property suitable for your needs, especially if you make your searches from abroad. The lawyer will represent you in regards to the legal issues -negotiation stage, due diligence, terms of contract etc. The notary public will examine the required documentation and prepare the contract. The engineer will check the property to make sure that it is what the vendor claims to be. Our firm works closely with various notaries, real estate agents and engineers to offer the one-stop-shop experience to the client. Of course, clients are free to choose other professionals of their preference.
How do I engage and authorize the professional I have chosen to work with?
You should sign a services agreement with the real estate agent. You are required to sign a power of attorney to your lawyer, which is a notarial document entailing representation instructions to your lawyer. Usually, notaries and engineers are engaged with some oral or written instruction.
Do I need a Greek tax identification number?
Yes, this is a prerequisite for the purchase contract. Also, before signing the contract, the buyer pays the transfer tax to the Greek tax authorities, which is associated with the purchase price. Additionally, after the conclusion of the purchase, the buyer has to register the property under their name at the tax authorities.
Do I need a Greek bank account for this transaction?
No, it is not necessary to have a Greek bank account to pay the purchase price and all other associated fees. Nevertheless, a Greek bank account would facilitate payments to the Greek authorities and simplify the conclusion of property purchase.
Is a deposit required?
No, it is not. Paying a deposit depends on the parties’ negotiation and agreement. Usually, the vendor may request a percentage of the final purchase price, in order to cover any expenses preceding the transfer of the property to the buyer. Also, deposits serve the purpose of securing the property and declaring the intention to actually buy it.
When is a deposit paid?
At the initial stage of the purchase process. It is of paramount importance, though, to have your lawyer complete the due diligence of the property first. Additionally, you should make sure to put the basic terms of purchase in writing. This is either done with a private agreement or a notarial pre-contract. Both documents shall describe the transaction to take place and the payment of deposit; the difference is that the notarial pre-contract is legally binding, offers greater protection, requires supporting documentation and induces extra costs.
Is my physical presence required?
No, it is not. Our team shall represent you through all the steps of the transaction, by virtue of the power of attorney and based on your instructions. However, you may wish to visit Greece at least once to see the property before making the final choice.
Is the purchase process the same throughout Greece?
Yes, same legislation and procedure applies, although certain restrictions may apply in borderline areas of the country. Our team with its extensive network of collaborations across the country can support you wherever your property is located.
Getting a visa in Greece
Can I get a residency permit in Greece via real estate investment (Golden Visa) ?
Yes! Greece offers residency by investment to all non-EU nationals based on a real estate acquisition of €250,000. This includes all types of land investments ranging from apartments to large plots or retail, office, as well as a mix of all the above. Greek Golden Visa has been extremely popular lately based on the low minimum investment amount and the limited due diligence process by the state. The Greek program does not require minimum days of physical presence in the country, so investors can visit at their discretion. Express your interest here
Will I be deemed a Greek resident if I buy real estate in Greece ?
No, just by acquiring real estate in Greece does not automatically make one a resident.
Do I need a lawyer for acquiring a Visa?
The services of a lawyer, in this case, are required in order to first ascertain that the type of visa you seek to issue is the proper one on the basis of the characteristics of your case. There are benefits but also points of attention in each type of visa which may not be obvious to those not accustomed to the procedures and/or their legal implications. Furthermore, it may be difficult for a foreigner to familiarize himself/herself with the administrative procedures and the possible additional requirements that may arise. Most likely, the procedure will not be concluded within a working day and therefore, it is legitimate to have an authorized representative that can guide you through, monitor the case and mediate when necessary.
Is the procedure the same for all types of Visas?
The competent authority is the same but the procedures vary in accordance with the type of Visa you wish to issue. For each one of them, the supporting documents differentiate and one needs to be thorough when gathering them because of the rigour and formality of the procedure.
Is my physical presence required?
Your presence is not by default necessary and it depends on the type of visa you seek to issue. Nevertheless, at some point, the interested party will be called to appear before the competent authority to record his biometric data (e.g. fingerprints) and to validate his signature.
Beyond the application, are there any other procedures I need to be aware of?
There is a high chance that you will be required to open a Greek bank account in order to facilitate procedures. For instance, in case you wish to apply for a Golden Visa for which a precondition is the acquisition of property, the transaction is easier to complete through the Greek Banking System which also allows for a quicker collection of the supporting documents required by law for the approval of the application. Furthermore, in this case, you will also be required to issue a Greek Tax Identification Number which does not in principle affect your tax residence status.
In case I wish to make use of the auxiliary benefit that allows for members of my family to acquire residence permits, what do I need to know?
You need to be aware that the applications are separated. Those of the family members are considered as dependent on the main application and it is required for the latter to have been approved. Furthermore, the primary beneficiary has to make a formal statement to the competent authorities as to his/her family status and specify the exact relationship with the person that seeks to issue the dependent Visa.
Establishing a company in Greece
I want to establish a company in Greece, what are the options?
There are various types of companies (SA, LLC, Private Company etc.), all established through the One-Stop Shop Service of the Business Registry, which is the competent authority to run all the checks and finally approve the establishment.
Is the procedure the same for all types of companies?
No. Every type has variations in the procedure and costs for the setup.
Can I be the sole partner of the company?
Yes. The only difference is that the term “Single-Member” must be written in the company’s name.
Do I need assistance from local professionals?
Yes, it is necessary to hire the services of a lawyer -and an accountant in the stage following the establishment. You also may require the services of a notary for the establishment of a SA (Societe Anonyme) and an LLC (Limited Liability Company).
Is my physical presence required?
Not necessarily. A lawyer can prepare a Power of Attorney that must be signed by you and will give him/her the power to act on your behalf and proceed with all necessary actions towards the establishment of the company (e.g. issue a Tax Identification Number, prepare the Articles of Association, collect and file all necessary documents to the Greek authorities, etc.)
Do I need to issue a Greek Tax Identification number? Does it affect my tax residence?
Yes, a Tax Identification Number should be issued prior to the establishment due to the fact that your details are confirmed through an online platform, however, the issuance of a TIN does not affect your tax residence nor your tax status in general.
Which is the most commonly used type of company in Greece?
The most commonly used is the Private Company, which resembles the English limited type of company. It does not necessarily require certain capital, but it is advisable to have an initial one. It is set up in approximately 7 days upon collecting the necessary documentation.
Is it mandatory that the company has its registered seat in Greece?
Yes. To establish either type of company, the authorities request a purchase contract of a property or a rental agreement which must be signed prior to the establishment.
Does the registered seat have to be in Athens?
Not necessarily. You can choose whatever region is suitable for your needs within the Greek territory.
Must the property that will serve as registered seat have specific characteristics?
No. You can even rent an office space within a building and register that as the seat of your company.
What are the annual fees to the Business Registry?
The amounts range from €80 to €320, depending on the type of company.
Contact Us About Your Case
Please feel free to contact us with the specifics of your request.